Major Misconceptions About The Voice, Singing Tips and More
Have you ever had someone make a statement to you about singing? The statement could have fallen into many sub-categories of singing. Maybe the person said ” your voice type is a soprano.” Maybe the person said “if you can sing you don’t need singing lessons.” Maybe the person said “real singers don’t need lemon tea before they perform.” If could have been a number of things. The bottom line is they told you something in regards to singing as if it was a fact. Have you ever had someone state anything similar to these statement to you, but wasn’t even a singing professional? You’d be surprised how many non-professional and non-singers state so many “facts” about singing. Most of the time these people have no idea what they’re talking about. Unfortunately, singing is one of those talents that have a lot of misconceptions around it. Learn the singing tips and the truth about 7 biggest misconceptions concerning the voice.
Have you ever heard someone say, “if you can sing, you can sing. You don’t need a lot of practicing or training.” This statement and similar statements have been said a lot. It’s actually one of if not the biggest misconception about singing. The reality is this statement is spoken purely out of ignorance. Whoever says this simply doesn’t know much about singing. They may honestly think they know, but they don’t. Yes, you can be a real singer and still take singing lessons and practice extensively. It doesn’t mean you lack talent. The reason many believe this ignorant theory is due to the mindset that “singing is a gift, so why would you need practice or training.” The explanation behind this singing misconception is very important to understand. Not understanding the response to this misconception can really make or break a singer’s confidence. Knowing how untrue this statement is should be #1 on the list of singing tips for beginners. Yes, singing is a natural talent. It’s truly a gift. However, singing lessons and hours of practice doesn’t prove one doesn’t have a natural gift. No matter how gifted you are, if your gift isn’t nurtured and groomed it won’t flourish. To become a great singer you have to learn proper techniques, tips and tricks you never knew you needed. This is where singing lessons and constant practice comes in. No matter what you’re great at if you don’t practice and groom around the clock you won’t be great at it for long. This isn’t only for singing. This is for any talent or gift. All the great singers from Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey, Celine Dion, Stevie Wonder, etc all had some form of training. These are all extraordinary singers who were naturally talented but still understood the importance of professional training. A person who tells you singing lessons or constant practice is a sign of not having talent is only proving their lack of vocal knowledge. They’re not displaying their knowledge. They are simply speaking out of ignorance.
2) You Need a Big Voice
Many music lovers and singers believe in order to be a great singer you need a really, huge voice. Yes phenomenal vocalists such as Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey and Aretha Franklin are known for their larger than life voices. However, this isn’t the only factor you need to be acknowledged as a great singer. Singers with huge voices are amazing and very talented. But they also have other elements to their voice that helps make it great. You can have a beautiful, polished, groomed voice and it doesn’t have to be really huge. This is another singing misconception. One of the biggest singing tips you should always keep in mind is to never force your voice. Never force your voice to be larger than life or huge if it honestly isn’t. Never force your voice to be extra high if it honestly isn’t. This will put tremendous strain on your voice. It can even cause throat nodules. What makes a great voice is your range, breath control, tone, timbre, vibrato and pitch collectively. This is one of those singing tips you must never forget. There are many singers who don’t have large voices, but voices are still great, captivating and legendary. Some of these singers are:
3) Mouth Needs to be Wide Open
This singing tip/ misconception is more like a misunderstanding. The reason being that it’s true to a certain extent. Yes when you sing your mouth needs to be wide open. If you’ve ever watched the mouths of great singers, it’s always wide open. However, the misconception part comes in how the mouth gets to that placement. When singing the mouth should be wide open but simply opening the mouth wide isn’t good enough. It’s the internal way the mouth is positioned and the muscles behind it that allows this to actually work. For example, simply open your mouth wide without any type of goal or technique. Your mouth is sort of spread out. The sound could go anywhere and you actually have more tension in your mouth. You want to open your mouth wide with a purpose and structure behind it. This is one of the most standard vocal training exercises and tips. The key to opening your mouth wide correctly is to yawn or pretend like you’re yawning as you do it. This allows the muscles in your mouth to actually fall into the correct position. This also allows for your larynx to be neutral (very important key with singing). This also allows for the back of your mouth and throat to be wide open. Many singers don’t know this but singing with an open throat is very important. So on the list of singing tips and voice misconceptions I would say this one is a misunderstanding. Yes, singing with a wide open mouth is correct if you’re doing it the right way with the right muscle movement.
4) How Low or High Can You Go?
One of the most biggest misconceptions when it comes to singing is you voice type. Many who aren’t even singing professionals may try to tell you what your voice type is. The reality is unless you’re a voice teacher, music teacher or some type of vocal instructor you really can’t determine. Many believe in order to be a soprano singer you have to be able to sing really high notes. Many believe in order to be an alto or bass you have to sing really love. Thinking this is all it takes to determine a voice is really the singing basics. True professional know there’s so much more to it. You don’t have to be able to sing as high as Mariah Carey to be determined a soprano. You don’t have to be able to sing as low as Melvin Franklin to be determined a bass. Many sopranos can sing extremely low notes and have versatile voices. Many bass or altos can also sing high and hit high notes. Some singers have huge, amazing ranges. What determines your voice type is what register you can sing the most comfortable in. This makes a big difference. If you truly want to find out what your voice type is, consult a singing professional.
5) You Need Perfect Pitch
Another popular item you may hear often on the list of singing tips is, in order to be a great singer you need perfect pitch. Yes having perfect pitch is an amazing feature for any vocalist to have. It’s a beautiful gift. It certainly will advance your singing technique and skills. However, you can be a great and successful singer without having perfect pitch. As long as you have relative pitch and able to hear when you’re not in harmony with the music you’re good. A lot of successful, great singers do have perfect pitch. This certainly helps them. It’s definitely one of the best singing tips to improve your voice. However, even singers with perfect pitch still receive ear training, vocal lessons and more.
- Perfect pitch – the ability/gift to hear and recognize any given note and be able to match it precisely with your voice.
- Relative pitch – the ability to hear and recognize any given note and match it (as closely as possible) by comparing it to intervals, referring to scales, muscle memory and other musical techniques.
6) Belting is All Chest Voice
Many music listeners are crazy about belting. A singer that can belt sounds extremely impressive. The most celebrated singers all of time tend to be huge belters. The common misconception about belting when it comes to singing is it’s all chest voice. Many believe that when a singer is belting he or she is singing solely from chest voice. This is so far from the truth. If you understand singing and voice registers then you’re familiar with chest voice, medium voice, head voice, etc. Due to the strong, grand sound belting possess, many assume belting is all chest voice. However, the reality is when singers belt they’re actually mixing. True belting is a mixture of the chest and head voice. If a singer was to try and belt a 4 or 5 octave note (C5 or C6) all in chest voice it wouldn’t sound pleasant. Trust me belting wouldn’t be celebrated the way it is. There would be so much tension and strain that the singer would actually end up yelling. The reason some belting may appear to sound like it’s 100% in chest voice is due to 3 reasons:
- The technique the singer has developed
- The natural richness of the singer’s tone
- The amount of air/breath the singer is producing to support his or her belting
When belting you always want to add chest voice with head voice. You want your chest register for the power and strength to support the note. You want your head register to hit the actual pitch and add some elegance and beauty to your note.
7) The Voice You’re Born With is What You End Up With
I’ve heard many non-professional say “if that’s your natural voice, that’s your natural voice.” “If you can’t hit a high note you can’t hit it.” “You can’t grow your voice or make something you don’t have.” “Whatever singing voice you were born with is what you have.” Once again this is another singing misconception. Yes singing is a natural talent. Yes certain elements to the voice can’t be changed no matter what. However, the voice is a muscle. Meaning it can grow, develop and and create memory. There are countless singers who voice change, go through transformations and quite frankly grows. Think about some of your favorite singers who careers you’ve followed. They might have started out with one range or only singing a certain level of notes. However, by their 3rd of 4th album was singing an additional range of notes. It’s actually very common among professional singers.
In order to learn how to sing better and utilize singing tips you have to get rid of these common misconceptions. Once your mind is free of these mishaps and it’ll be so much easier to develop technique, apply true professional tips and learn how to sing beautifully and naturally